Google is overriding Apple’s privacy agreements by handing over iPhone data to the police. Apple has a reputation of never giving away customer’s information. This was emphasised when even the FBI could not get them to break their privacy laws during a high-profile case.
However, it has just been discovered that Google is divulging data from both Android devices and iPhones to law enforcement agents upon request. This means that, even though Apple has top notch privacy settings, it still does not guarantee that your data is safe.
To cooperate or not
Google reportedly uses its in-built database called “Sensorvault” to cooperate with law enforcement. Using their database, Google can give authorities data from phones from a specific location and time. If the police submit a “geofence” warrant, they can check what phones were close to a crime scene. Google, however, says they only receive less than 200 of these requests weekly.
The police, upon narrowing down the number of suspect devices, can get Google to give them the names of the owners. Apparently, this technology comes in very handy for law enforcement officials in America.
Most Android devices and some iPhones have their data readily available to Google. This means that Google can decide to divulge their information to the police anytime, according to an American intelligence analyst.
In 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter. He said that the FBI’s request for them to build a new version of the iOS software that can let them break into the phone will make it vulnerable to hackers. This followed the case of Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI had wanted them to break into his phone. He was found responsible for the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead in 2015.
This is a blow to Apple who has constantly mocked Google for its lack of privacy control.